Did you know?
If you're offered a dish called "walkie talkie" expect to be served chicken feet and heads.
Eating out in Soweto offers an authentic dining experience and a taste of township life where you will find a wonderful mix of taverns, shebeens, roadside eateries and butcheries.
First-timers might wish to ease themselves into the social scene with a visit to Wandies Place in Dube. This tavern-style eatery was the first township restaurant to attract foreign visitors and it is now not so much a local hot spot as a tour bus destination. Service is super-friendly and there is a good selection of township cuisine featuring the likes of ting (fermented sorghum) and umleqwa chicken stew.
For a more sedate sit-down celebration, try the Jazz Maniacs restaurant at the Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre on Walter Sisulu Memorial Square in Kliptown.
Here you will find modern reinterpretations of classic Soweto cuisine. The walls of the hotel are lined with mosaic renditions of Nelson Mandela and iconic Alf Khumalo photographs. Sample home-made ginger beer, succulent oxtail with herbed dombolo dumplings, morogo wild (spinach), and the best chakalaka relish imaginable.
On Sundays there is an eat-as-much-as-you-like barbeque on the front porch accompanied by live jazz.
Another popular spot is Sakhumzi's, founded by Soweto resident Sakhumzi Maqubela in 2001. It's located in the historic Vilakazi Street, a must-stop on every tour itinerary as this was once home to former president Nelson Mandela. Here you can tuck into an African township buffet featuring specials like tripe and lamb stews.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
618 Makhalamele Street, Dube, Soweto
Tel: +27 (0)11 982 279
Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre, Walter Sisulu Square, Kliptown, Soweto
Tel: +27 (0)11-527 7300
6890, Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto
Tel: +27 (0)11 536 1379
How to get here
It's best to book your stay via a reputable tour operator.
Around the area
Vilakazi Street, the Hector Pieterson Museum, the Orlando Cooling Towers, Nelson Mandela House Museum, Regina Mundi Church and the Maponya Mall
Regular township tours depart from Sandton and Rosebank's major hotels, or you could sign up for a tour via the Citysightseeing Joburg bus.
What will it cost
Soweto's restaurants are well-priced. A meal at Wandies will set you back around R150.
Length of stay
Spend a night in Soweto and get to know a bit more about this fascinating township.
Where to stay
There are numerous guest houses and bed and breakfasts in Soweto as well as the Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre in Kliptown. Or you could stay at the award-winning Mama Lolo’s guest house in Diepkloof Extension.